A committee is a body of people subordinate to a deliberative assembly, and it typically has authority to investigate issues the larger assembly cannot handle itself. Once a committee has finished its work, it typically reports to the assembly on what it has found. The report will usually include a description of the methods used, the facts uncovered, the conclusions reached, and any recommendations. In addition, a committee may also be discharged by the assembly if it is no longer useful or necessary.

The members of Congressional committees have a unique opportunity to shape public policy. They are at the center of investigations that can expose misconduct by government agencies and individuals, and they often serve as ambassadors for their constituents. But they also face the challenges of being in the spotlight, dealing with partisan attacks from the president and other members of Congress, and navigating the ever-changing landscape of politics.

Committee News

As the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into election interference reaches its conclusion, its members are at an unusual crossroads. Two have decided to leave Congress, and many are facing tough reelections next year. Others are eyeing leadership positions and one is even pondering a 2024 presidential run. Still, many have been heartened by the Jan. 6 indictment of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, which they see as validation of their hard work.

Schiff, the panel’s ranking Democrat, is a confidant of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and an experienced federal prosecutor. He has a reputation for being willing to go toe-to-toe with the Republicans on rhetorical fronts, and he is seen as having the potential to become the next Democratic leader should Pelosi decide to step down or be replaced.

But some Democrats on the panel have struggled to balance their desire to target Trump and his allies with their fear that doing so will alienate their constituents. The panel’s chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, has tried to strike a delicate balance between targeting Trump and highlighting the broader issues they are investigating.

Despite these challenges, some committees are still working to address important issues facing the nation. The Senate Finance Committee, for example, has been working to overhaul the nation’s tax code, while the Ways and Means Committee has been looking at ways to make health care more affordable. Both of these efforts will have a major impact on the lives of millions of Americans. Read more about the work of these committees and other House committees.